Outsiders Amongst Outsiders’: A Cultural Criminological Perspective on the Sub-Subcultural World of Women in the Yakuza Underworld

Rie Alkemade  Abstract: This research explores a lesser-known aspect of the infamous yakuza subculture: the wives. Implementing a triangulation of methods and embracing a cultural criminological perspective, this thesis aims to discover the roles, influences, and positions of these women in this overly patriarchal criminal society. Traveling across the yakuza pyramid, this thesis seeks to [...]

“Nothing says love like menstrual blood.” In Japan, V-Day chocolates are really special

Love, blood, chocolate and a love hotel is all you need. Happy Valentine's Day in Japan!

Well, some women in Japan, and probably a very small number of them, in order to spice up their home-made chocolates with a little extra something, or give their store bought chocolates something really special–are reportedly (self-reportedly) putting a little of their own blood and sweat into the cooking of gooey sweets

The Tears of a Cat: Hello Kitty’s Guide to Japan, English and Japanese/ ハローティの英語で紹介する

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There’s something incredibly moving about a single tear dribbling from the tiny eyes of Hello Kitty; her lack of a mouth even makes it all the more poignant

Japan Passes Draconian Secrecy Bill Into Law: Journalists, Whistleblowers are now “terrorists”

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Of course, every country has a fundamental right to protect its citizens’
interests and there is an obvious need for some issues relating to national
security to be secret. However, it is the vague definition in the new bill
of what actually constitutes a state secret which potentially gives
officials carte blanche to block the release of information on a vast range
of subjects. In essence, anything which makes a journalist in Japan
even more uncomfortable with exposing wrongdoing, wherever it may exist, is
a worrying development when transparency and openness should be the way
forward.”

Japan’s Secrecy Bill: Designed by Kafka & Inspired by Hitler?!!

Whistleblowers and journalist face up to ten years in jail for exposing anything the Japanese government declares "a special secret." And what is a "special secret"--that is also secret.

Legal experts note that even asking pointed questions about a state secret, whether you know or don’t know it’s a secret, could be treated as “instigating leaks” and the result in an arrest and a possible jail term up to five years. Of course, the trial would be complicated since the judge would not be allowed to know what secret the accused was suspected of trying to obtain.

Book Review: Tokyo Underworld–a classic on the dark side of Japan

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There are very few gaijin (foreigners) who know what happens on the dark side of the rising sun like Robert Whiting. Whiting is an American author and journalist living in Japan, one of the rare ones who has written great books published in both English and Japanese language after he first set foot in Japan [...]

Kigu/奇遇: Synchronicity & The Police Beat. An unpublished chapter of TOKYO VICE

Tokyo Vice

奇遇 (Kigu) an unpublished chapter of Tokyo Vice: An American On The Police Beat in Japan Today (October 14th) marks the 3rd anniversary of the publication of my first book. It also marks the fourth anniversary of former Yamaguchi-gumi mob boss, Goto Tadamasa’s expulsion from the Yamaguchi-gumi. Two important days in my short life.  There [...]

Haruki Murakami Wins The Nobel Prize For Literature!….in Japan. For a few minutes.

Murakami Wins The Noble Prize for Literature! (According to the Sankei Shimbun, for a short time)

It was reported on the evening of October 10th that Japan’s much beloved novelist Haruki Murkami had won the Nobel Prize for Literature on October 10…but this turned out to be true only in an alternate universe.

On Modern Slavery: Thoughts on Human Trafficking

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[Not only do I find it personally abhorrent, but intellectually, it] is a terrible exploit of labor that robs women, men and children of their freedom and dignity. In fact, human trafficking is too polite of a term. “Modern slavery” is a more apt expression. Perhaps if portrayed by this term, more people would share my vehemence to combat it.

21 Reasons Why Japanese Men Suck (A Book Review) by Ms. Kaori Shoji

21 Reasons Why Japanese Men Suck/なぜ日本にはいい男がいないのか-21の理由-

Mr. Morikawa does make a sound observation, albeit not a very helpful one: that 10,000 years ago in the Jomon Period, Japanese couples got married at 14, had their first child at 15 and died off at 30. Even in the Edo Period, it was a huge deal if people lived past 45. Until the 1950s, he writes, couples were obligated to spend roughly 15 years together. Now the marriage years form a long, long stretch, compounded by the fact that the Japanese now live for a colossaly long time. “It’s impossible to keep loving the same man for so long,” he sighs. Duh.